What Purim Teaches Us About Unity
4 years ago Noah Roffe 0
Purim is easily the most joyful and happy Jewish holiday of the year. It is known that the entire Jewish month of Adar is a time of happiness and success because of the Purim story. Purim however isn’t just about happiness and success on the individual level, it is also about maximizing our potential on the national level.
So what actually happened on Purim?
A long time ago, after the Jews were exiled from Israel for the first time, a wicked man named Haman tried killing all of the Jews in Babylonia – where the Jews were exiled to. While in exile, the Jewish people had become disconnected from their roots and from one each other. Haman was (almost) able to destroy the Jews because they were so disconnected. As he describes the Jewish nation to Achashverosh: “there is a scattered and dispersed nation among the nations in all of the states of your kingship, and their laws are different and the laws of the king they do not follow, and it is not in your interest to let them be” (Megillat Esther 3:8).
So how did we overcome Haman and his dangerous aspirations? By uniting together. Only when the Jews are united are we empowered to overcome our adversaries. And this is exactly what happened in the story of Purim. Esther knew that only through unity could the Jews overcome Haman, and thus she commanded Mordechai: “Go gather all of the Jews that can be found in Shushan…” (Megillat Esther 4:16).
This is exactly what redemption is all about. One of the many aspects of redemption that is lost in exile is unity. Before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, the temple served as a great unifying force within the Jewish nation. It provided a place where all Jews could serve Hashem, both individually and as a whole, which is the highest form of unity. Serving Hashem was, and with the help of Hashem will be, a national goal which everyone was able to rally behind. With the destruction of the Temples came the disbursement of the Jewish nation. And notable, the destruction of the second Temple occurred because we stopped uniting, and began turning away from our fellow Jews.
Unity and redemption are two interwoven mechanisms—one cannot exist without the other. The Jewish people were saved during the Purim story because they put aside their differences and banded together as one.
When a Jew connects with another Jews, and advances the level of unity of the Jewish nation, that is, in effect, advancing the Jews to a state of redemption.
More than ever does the Jewish nation need to join together in response to the concealed anti-Semitism of our time. This purim let us highlight our shared heritage and celebrate our Jewish identity, because the unity of the Jewish people is an unstoppable force.